1000% off-topic, but i need to know :)

Why does some people use the word “then” when one should understand “than” ?
I don’t understand this, con someone tell me ?

because people are stupid?? <shrugs>

then and than are different words, as i’m sure you appreciate. Then is used to link ideas that follow next (i will back my bags and then go to school), whereas than is used to introduce a second element for comparison (OpenGL is better than DirectX)

Another question is why people intercghange their/there/they’re and you’re/your and to/too… I guess because they don’t know the difference???


Originally posted by holocaust:
Why does some people use the word “then” …

And why do some people use the third person singular “does” when they really want the third person plural “do”?

mmmmm… grammar Nazi.

rts : ooops, sorry for the ‘does’, thanks :slight_smile:
rts : “grammar Nazi” ? wtf ?

john : “I guess because they don’t know the difference”, i guess you’re right.

Originally posted by holocaust:

rts : “grammar Nazi” ? wtf ?

Look here:

“than”, “then”; “write”, “right”; “OpenGL”, “Direct3D” – why can’t we all be friends?

That is easy.
For most people, English is not their mother tongue. Therefore, they should be excused. I think that this aspect only improves the discussions since people have completely different backgrounds.
Of course this does not mean that everyone should write awful.

[This message has been edited by billy (edited 04-10-2001).]

I think it’s because those words sound the same. Even native English speakers can sometimes be caught confusing they’re/their, then/than, to/two/too, its/it’s, and so on. Moreover, most people are just lazy when it comes to checking they’re own spelling - not me though

  • Tom


of course; those who’s native language ISN’T English do a remarkable job knowing more than one language and so should—understandably—be excused. There are a vast number of people who come from English speaking countries, however, who SHOULD know better, but don’t. I see bad grammar in Australia, for example; and the only language we really need to know IS English.

It isn’t good enough to say that they’re/their/there can be interchanged because they are phoetically equivilent. Should minute (as in 60 of them make an hour) and minute (as in very small) be interchanged because they are spelt the same, but pronounced differently? Of course not.

English, like all languages, is a set of rules. True, its not a very formal language (unlike a computer language where there is very specific, defined synatax and semantic rules), but the rules are in place so people can understand ideas and concepts. I mean, language is “just” the manipulation of symbols. Actually, so is mathematics… and maths better have well defined rules for obvious reasons, and consequently, SO SHOULD ENGLISH. gees.

x + y = 10

x + x = 10 (because there/they’re… its all the same, isn’t it?)

therefore x=5

uh huh.


If English didn’t have formal rules, then absolutely nothing would stop me from saying:

Afhbvajh gaenrin gneoau vba awrniovoda vlkbshacvw wbafiu asjcv naflisudvn li gwnuil lafb d.

English has formal rules. If you disobey them, you are WRONG. Deal with it.

  • Matt

If English is really such a problem for the OpenGL community, I don’t mind switching back to my mother tongue, which is French !

How does it sound ?

To Matt, I don’t know much about English litterature but in France, we had a writer called Frederic Dard (aka San-Antonio) who was the king of neologisms.
He probably served his mother tongue much better by breaking the rules than (AND I SAID THAN !) he would have had by observing them…
Unfortunately, he died on June 8th 2000… I never thought I’d mention this man on this forum !



Well, english isn’t my navite language either, but I try to write doing as few mistakes as possible. Here in germany many people say english is a “world standard”, but my english teacher said that it’s actually bad english and I fully agree with him. I mean people from english-speaking countries are very tolerant, but this does not mean we should do things english grammar does not allow and feel good. I would say the fact that english is not a native language is a reason for bad english, but not an excuse. If someone can learn a programming language one should be able to learn the english language, which is really one of the simplest in the world (german or french or russian or chinese are much more difficult to learn). Conclusion: learn english and do yourself and others a favor.


Now come on people…

You have to admit - most non-native English speakers happen to speak English far better “than” native English speakers, simply because they don’t know all of the idiotic rules and misdirections that the language has. Most non-English languages have far better syntax, grammer, and simpler rules “than” English. They also have fewer conflicting words and phrase structures “than” English does.

Seriously, how many languages out there have objects which can be represented by more than 5 words? How many languages out there are as ambiguous as English, where one word can have upwards of 20 different meanings? Simply put, English is a phrase-structure dependent language, where to understand the complete meaning of the phrase, you must look into the speaker’s mind to understand what he/she/it is trying to convey.

And “then” there is American-English. Oh my God, don’t even get me started on that one!

“Its like, you know, the hottest cool thing around!”

They (loosely) need to beat the word “like” out of human vocabulary when used in phrases “like” that.

By the way, my background here is a natively born American - though this is a misnomer in itself. I am a natively born citizen of the United States of America, raised by two Polish immigrant parents. I will not say I speak “English”, I speak “American”, though I try to be as proper as possible when speaking.

And I think this thread isn’t about saying or thinking “then” versus “then”. It’s more about written English. Most people here understand the meaning of what is being written. Most people that are writing don’t care much about the syntax of their statements, they just care that the idea is being conveyed and that they get an answer from somebody who can help them.

But I must admit - I agree completely. It’s a shame that people don’t know how to write properly. Of course, neither do I…


My favorite author (Ayn Rand) was born in Russia. She was multilingual – she spoke Russian, French, English, and at least one other language that I forget. She wrote once that of all the languages she knew, English was the most expressive.

For a person born in a foreign country, for a person whose first language was not English, her writing is remarkable. Not only is her writing better than most native Americans, but she is also perhaps the clearest writer I know. Her fiction is brilliant; her non-fiction is equally amazing. Her reviews of articles in popular media are incredible. She quotes the article for you, and then proceeds to utterly demolish full paragraphs of it in one or two sentences; then she moves on to more of the article and does the same.

Oh, and she preferred American English. She also preferred America to Europe in general, saying that America was the only moral country ever to exist.

[Warning: Ayn Rand is not only my favorite writer, but also my favorite philosopher.]

  • Matt

i think i know english quite well, but it is still difficult for me to think in italian and write it in english, so you should excuse me and all the ones whose mother tongue is not english, if sometimes we mess around with it !

hm… i learned some english in school… simple how-to-build-a-sentence-wich-sounds-ok ( wich/witch … )… yeah… that whas never much… but then i got an internet connection and started surfing… i started learning coding at the same time, too… and so i had to read a lot of english stuff… now i can read nearly everything, and i think i can write about most thematics, too… and thats all just because of you

thank you all…

at the end, a nice little text… i currently translate it to swissgerman to send it to my girl… perhaps you know the text…

my tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why I got out of bed at all
the morning rain clouds up my window and I can’t see at all
and even if I could it’d all be grey, but your picture on my wall
it reminds me that it’s not so bad, it’s not so bad

I drank too much last night, got bills to pay, my head just feels in pain
I missed the bus and there 'll be hell today, I’m late for work again
and even if I’m there, they 'll all imply that I might not last the day
and then you call me and it’s not so bad, it’s not so bad and

I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life
oh just to be with you is having the best day of my life

push the door, I’m home at lasts and I’m soaking through and through
then you handed me a towel and all I see is you
and even if my house falls down now, I wouldn’t have a clue
because you’re near me and
I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life
oh just to be with you is having the best day of my life

i know this is really off the offtopic, but its such a nice text… have to post it somewhere…

( some english problems: life/live… to live, and the life, i think, right? others are possibly following )

Why does some people use the word “then” when one should understand “than” ?

hm… Why does some people use the word “when” when it possibly can be an “if”…?!

when an if and when not?
if we have a subject that does something like in the if( x == 0 ), a true false… hm… english is funny… like it, love it, write it, read it, just let it be…

Originally posted by mcraighead:

Oh, and she preferred American English. She also preferred America to Europe in general, saying that America was the only moral country ever to exist.

ohoh we could get into a flame about this comment

Don’t flame Matt until after you’ve read Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ and ‘We The Living’. Her reason for making such a statement may become clear.


to Siwko:

come on, I really do think english is one of the easiest languages to learn, thats one of the reasons for its success.

My native language is russian and I learnt german and english and I must say german is more difficult to learn and i’m happy I had not to learn russian (6 cases, …), its complexity is near to latin’s.

The only problematic aspects to me were times in english, there are just too many, like 32 or so. When you learn the basics, like “i like, i liked, i’ve liked, i’d liked, …” everything is clear, but when you hear things like variations of “i should/could/… have liked” then its sometimes not easy to decide which time to use.

And as far as american english goes, its not that big difference, and here in germany (don’t know about the rest of yurp(europe)) british english seems to be more “in”. Though when i hear [daielog] I would spell it “dialog” and not “dialogue”.